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Sunday, April 01, 2007
Anakena Beach

All adventures must progress through to the inevitable end. The two fishermen bade us goodbye from the boat harbor with many thanks for the tuna gear we gave them. I promised to send them some new gloves and large hooks for yellow fin and big eye as well as some stainless steel wound tuna wire and wire leaders. The anchor ground up slowly in the winch as we squared away for the other side of the island and Anakena.

As the beach came in view, so did the several moai under the palms. These moai were dug out of the sand and placed upright with their red headdresses on by Thor Heyerdahl’s 1955-56 archeological expedition. The beach’s white sand draws Rapanuians for a vacation from town. They camp out in the caves offered under the nearby cliffs. Out paddled a sailboarder from Germany and a snorkeler from Hanga Roa to visit. We shared our barbecued fish and rice and some wine which made us all immediate friends. The zodiac took us to shore for one last time before heading out for two months.

The moai were well preserved, displaying little of the degradation by wind and rain marring the moai at Ranu Raruku. The eyes shone of bright white shell with obsidian pupils. The carvings of the solar plexus, the hands, and other petroglyph type carvings were quite clear instead of eroded. Under their watchful gaze Rapanuian families picnicked and swam as their ancestors may have done.

In the afternoon we worked on finalizing our preparation for sea, tying everything down inside and out, checking the fluid levels in the compressors, turning on the refrigeration
in preparation for multitudes of albacore, and cleaning out the water tank one more time. We had filled it with fuel initially, in Louisiana where fuel was cheap, and then cleaned it out for use as a water tank. Lucky we had a water maker with a 200 gallon per day capacity. Nevertheless, we had dieselly showers the remainder of the trip, and our drinking water came from a small tank uncontaminated by fuel. Our water wasn’t great and our galley reefer was still broken! I had to use blue ice the entire trip, changing eight pounds of it every twelve hours. On a modern fishing vessel it was not uncommon for the little amenities to fail. For women, the worst was for the toilet to break.

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